Page 1

The Heartbeat of the Ottawa Sports Community

Vol. 3, #2

November 2013

Sochi Speed Spoils


P. 12

The Glebe midget girls were 1 of 2 local medal-winning teams alongside 3 individuals at OFSAA cross-country running.


photos: dave holland

At age 19, Vincent De Haitre (pictured) is the youngest member of Team Canada to qualify to race in World Cup speed skating events this fall. Fellow Gloucester Concordes athlete Ivanie Blondin (inset) is Canada’s best female distance skater and a strong Sochi 2014 Olympic medal contender in the team pursuit event. And Ottawa native Lauren McGuire will make her long-awaited and hard-earned World Cup debut when the season kicks off Nov. 8-10 in Calgary.

3 Ottawa speed skaters earn fall World Cup entries, will shoot for Olympic berths next By Dan Plouffe

P. 2-3

Ottawa bobsledder Cody Sorensen will begin his World Cup season this month, as will cross-country skier Perianne Jones.


P. 8

Kayla Maduk doubled her fun with gold medals in both her individual events at the taekwon-do world championships.

Ivanie Blondin has arrived. Take this as proof: the 23-yearold Ottawa native achieved a mammoth athletic feat in winning both the 3,000 and 5,000-metre races at the Canadian Fall World Cup Team Trials, but she was far from jumping for joy after her performance in Calgary. “To me, it’s not that it’s not something special, but I’m really hard on myself, and I know I could have done even better than that,” explains Blondin, who finished the 3,000 in 4 minutes, 13 seconds and the 5,000 in 7:12.65. “First place is first place, but seeing those times, I felt like kicking myself in the head.” Canadian athletes posted slowerthan-usual times across the board since the Olympic Oval ice was not at its fastest for the Oct. 17-20 trials, where two other Ottawa skaters also earned World Cup berths. Blondin’s victories mean she will

compete in each of the season’s first four World Cups – Nov. 8-10 in Calgary, Nov. 15-17 in Salt Lake City, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Kazakhstan (where the little-known possibility exists that she could clinch an Olympic berth before the Canadian Olympic trials if she wins an Olympic country quota position, likely possible with a top-10 5,000 m finish) and Dec. 6-8 in Germany. She also further cemented her status as Canada’s #1 long-distance speed skater. “Knowing that I’m first in Canada in the long distances is obviously an accomplishment,” signals the Gloucester Concordes athlete. “But I feel like I’ve kind of been here for long enough. It’s not really anything new to me. I guess that’s why I’m not overly excited about it.” Sochi 2014, however, is a bit of a different story. With a pair of mass start silvers and four World Cup medals (a gold, two silver and a bronze) in the team pursuit last

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season, Blondin’s prospects for an Olympic medal come February in Russia are very real. “It’s kind of crazy,” describes the 5,000 m eighth-place finisher from last season’s world championships. “It gives me the chills when I think about it, really.” Focused on short-track speed skating at the time, Blondin came very close to earning a Vancouver 2010 Olympic berth. She moved to Calgary shortly afterwards to focus on long-track and has now emerged as a world-class talent. “Thinking about four years ago when I was in short-track, everything was so stressful. I knew I probably wouldn’t make the team,” recalls the athlete who competed in both shorttrack and long-track junior world championships. “This year I know I’m there. I know I have great potential to make this Olympic team. That’s a very cool feeling. To be able to represent my country at the Olympics

has always been my dream.” Along with Christine Nesbitt, Brittany Schussler and Kali Christ, Blondin is poised to continue Canada’s history of success in the team pursuit discipline. “There are four of us really strong girls,” notes Blondin, who was safely on pace for a world championships silver medal last season before Nesbitt fell on the final corner. “It’s looking really good this year.”

DE HAITRE SHOOTS TO WORLD CUP The youngest member of this fall’s Canadian team will be Cumberland native Vincent De Haitre, who hit a career-best mark by .74 seconds in the 1,500 m at the trials despite the slow ice to secure his place. “As I was taking off my skates, I was sitting there and I just had a little bit of a grin on my face,” recounts the 19-year-old. SPEED SKATING continues p. 2




Jones’ ‘traveling road show’ begins in Olympic season Perianne Jones kicks off her World Cup season Nov. 29 in Finland.

By Dan Plouffe

suspects this year could be even better. “I feel like there’s more in there,” she maintains. “I think the best is still to come.” The biggest event of the 2012-2013 season was a disappointment for Jones, who finished 48th in her sprint event and 13th with fellow Canadian Dasha Gaiazova in the team sprint at the world championships. “It was a bummer, but it’s also a learning experience,” indicates Jones, who felt she may have pushed too hard in training prior to the worlds. “I won’t do the same thing before the Olympics.” In search of small improvements, Jones has made slight changes to her plan for the season based on her experiences last year, which includes tweaks such as rest at the right

times, overall volume and altitude training. “We want the best results every weekend, but the Olympics are the big focus,” Jones emphasizes. “It’s always kind of in the back of our mind, but we’ve got a lot between now and then.” The team sprint event is Jones’ main focus since that’s where most of her success has come from, alongside Gaiazova. Last season, at a World Cup that served as the Olympic test event in Sochi, the Canadian pair earned bronze medals, a result they’d no doubt like to replicate come February. “It definitely gets you thinking of it and dreaming a little bit,” Jones says. “We just have to do the work and make sure we do everything properly.”

Sochi is naturally the #1 destination on Perianne Jones’ mind, but the 28-year-old cross-country skier and her Canadian national team counterparts will make plenty of other stops on the road to Russia, beginning with their season-opening World Cup on Nov. 29 in Finland. “It’s a pretty funny world we live in all winter,” smiles Jones, who also has World Cups in Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Czech Republic. “Almost every weekend we’re in a different spot. It’s kind of like a traveling road show. We pack everything up on Sunday night or Monday morning and then we head to the next spot and unpack everything.” SPEED SKATING: Skaters take different Jones spends most of her time in Canmore, Alta. at her national team continued from p.1 Lauren McGuire. training centre base, where there’s “I started realizing what already plenty of snow thanks to the had just happened.” advanced snow preservation science De Haitre, who will race employed to allow the Canadians an in Calgary and Salt Lake City. early start to their on-snow training. earned four top-10s at last In late September, the Almonte natseason’s world junior chamive felt a little more drained than expecpionships, and has started ted after some hard pre-season dryland his second season in Calgary training camps, so she came back home promisingly. for several days to rest and recharge, “I think I’ve made some which, in her world, nonetheless inpretty big leaps and bounds,” cluded several roller-ski sessions with indicates the Béatrice-Desher old Nakkertok Nordic Ski Club. loges high school grad who’s also competed at the world juJones posted career-best results last nior track cycling championseason in international competition, but file photo ships. “It’s nice to go straight from junior into World Cup senior.” It’s impossible to ignore Discover the Sport the fact that it’s an Olympic year, although De Haitre recognizes that it may not quite where she placed third. be his time to shine yet. “I was thrilled,” smiles “The ultimate goal for the University of Calgary bioeverybody this year is the logy and Italian double-major. Olympics,” he underlines. “I want to see how close I can “This is a big step for me.” Even though she wasn’t get, just to gauge my future. I set goals that are high, but then becoming a star overnight, I approach them with a real- McGuire stayed committed to her sport throughout istic perspective.” her struggles. It helped that MCGUIRE CLIMBS STEADILY she’d already witnessed firstLauren McGuire has been hand the monumental slowhit with more than a dose or but-steady rise of Ottawa two of reality over her career. speed skating legend Kristina It’s been a long, often ardu- Groves, who won her first ous slog since the 24-year-old World Cup medal came at age Come try the fastest sport on ice at one of our 4moved to Calgary seven years 28 in the 3,000 m, and later week learn-to-speed skate sessions, starting soon! ago. Originally focused on went on to win four Olympic short-track, the Ottawa Pacers medals. Since 1989, the Gloucester “It’s actually pretty strange athlete suffered two serious Concordes Speed Skating stress fractures from overtrain- how similar we are in a lot of Club has provided proing in her first two years at the ways,” describes McGuire, grams for beginners to who’s set to compete in Calnational team’s home base. experienced masters athgary and Salt Lake City. The transition to long-track letes of all ages and abilwas also difficult, but McGuire “We’re good friends. She used ities. The club is home to eventually made progress, to babysit me when I was little, many Olympians, and is winning her first Canada Cup and I have her old skates, and run under the direction event, medaling at the North she’d send me postcards from of Ontario and national American championships, and around the world when she coach of the year, Mike earning a place on the Cana- was at World Cup. She was Rivet. Find out more at: dian development team. Then really inspiring to me.” Another major source came the big payoff came with her 3,000 m race at the trials, of inspiration for McGuire

Where Fast is Fun!

roads to World Cup

photo: dave holland

is her father, whose health took a rapid downturn three years ago when he was hit by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He’s now almost completely paralyzed, unable to speak, eat or move his limbs. “My dad is a huge influence on my training,” signals McGuire, whose father joined her for summer cycling training rides not long ago. “With my dad fighting against ALS, it’s really taught me to not take for granted the things I can do as an athlete. It keeps my perspective on life, and reminds me to take the opportunity every race.” When her big break came to fruition, McGuire called her dad right away. “He was my coach growing up,” notes McGuire, who’s organized fundraisers for ALS research. “He taught me so many important life lessons that have made me the person I am today. It’s made me a very determined and strong person, physically and mentally, so that I’m able to push through and reach for my best.”

ELITE Sorensen hungers for bobsled podium Cody Sorensen (left) will no longer slide with Team Rush, joining Chris Spring’s Canada-2 team this season.


Functional Movement Screen key to physical training & skill development

Alaine Chartrand of the Nepean Skating Club won bronze at last season’s Canadian championships.

file photo


The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a ranking and grading system that assesses movement patterns that are key to normal function movements. The FMS is based on 7 key functional movement patterns (squat, hurdle step, lunge, shoulder mobility, leg raise, push-up and rotational stability). By analysing these movement patterns, the trainer is able to identify functional limitations and asymmetries in the athlete. These are issues that can reduce the effects of physical training and sport skill development, but most importantly they can distort body awareness that can lead the athlete to overuse injuries and long term pain. With the analysis and subsequent program, the athlete does not simply put fitness on top of dysfunctional movement patterns, thus reducing the risk of injury and stunted sport skill development. The biggest assets of the analysis are: 1) The screen determines what the athlete’s weakest link is. This link could be the reason as to why the athlete is not performing on the field of play or in the weight room. This issue could range from a mobility problem, a stability problem, or a motor control issue. 2) The screen maximizes the athlete’s potential for injury prevention, corrects imbalances, and enables performance in the weight room, thus providing the athlete the best possible environment for athletic success and long term health.

The FMS generates the Functional Movement Screen Score. The score allows the trainer to target problems and track progress. The analysis takes about 20 minutes and should be done 2-3 times a year. The usual schedule is: first, at the beginning of the season to set training and correct issues, the middle of the year to see changes and adjust programs, and finally at the end of the year to ensure any lingering issue can be resolved before off-season training starts. From the test results, each athlete receives a series of exercises that they can do at home, or before or after practice. The beauty of this program and exercises is that they are simple and require little equipment. If you are a coach of a group of athletes, then an FMS test is a must. Especially if you plan to do any physical training. The benefits your athletes can potentially gain is well worth the time and cost of doing it. If you talk to most elite trainers or physiotherapists who work with athletes, the FMS is a mandatory part of their routine when working with athletes. Some examples of programs that use the FMS in their athletic training are the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Blue Jays, Canadian Special Forces, Stanford University, Canadian International Hockey Academy, Ottawa Maverick Volleyball Club, and Ottawa Fusion Volleyball Club. Be sure to ask your trainer if they are able to perform the analysis, or look for a local group that can perform the screening.

flying down the track at 130 km/h so there is stuff that can go wrong, but I’m fairly confident that I will be in Sochi.” Despite Lyndon Rush finishing first in the overall two-man rankings, it was a struggle for Canada in four-man competition, with Rush ranked 10th in the world overall and Spring 17th. It was Team Canada’s first season with new sleds from Eurotech, a prominent two-man manufacturer who created their first generation of four-man sleds for the Canadians. Team Spring, featuring a new lineup that featured both Sorensen and Carrière, finished just 17th at the 2013 world championships, but then managed to place seventh overOTTAWA’S LTAD LEADERS FOR OVER 10 YEARS all a week later at a World Cup on NUTRITION - STRENGTH & CONDITIONING - MENTAL TRAINING - VIDEO ANALYSIS the Sochi Olympic track, including a second run that was third fastest. That’s got Sorensen excited about the prospects for this season, Registration for Winter Sessions begins Nov.1 / 2013 which kicks off Nov. 26-30 with the All Ages - 3 Skill Levels - Ltd Availability first World Cup at WALTER BAKER - 10 WEEKS: Team Canada’s CalJan.11 - Mar.15/2014 gary home base. Saturdays 9:00am - 10:30am “If you’d asked BOB MACQUARRIE - 10 WEEKS: me four years ago at Jan.11 - Mar.15/2014 the end of the [VanSaturdays 4:00pm - 5:30pm couver] Games, SPORTSPLEX - 10 WEEKS: I would’ve been Jan.8 - Mar.12/2014 more than happy Wednesdays 6:30pm - 8:00pm to just have competed,” Sorensen Ottawa’s Most Certified*Coaching signals. “Now, four Staff For Every Skill Level years later, I don’t * National Coaching Certificate Program & Can.Coaches Assoc. want to waste any more time. I want to Visit our website for more information and registration. be on the podium.”





The start of the bobsleigh season will begin quite differently for two Ottawa national team members looking to earn themselves an Olympic berth. For Cody Sorensen, it will be his first full year pushing the Canada-2 sled piloted by Chris Spring, along with teammates Jesse Lumsden and Ben Coakwell. The sixth-year national team member has raced with both Spring and Lumsden in the past and they are determined to become Canada’s best sled even if they don’t currently own the name to match. “I think there is a very good possibility that after the first couple races that we will be that top sled,” Sorensen indicates. “We’re definitely hungry to take that Canada-1 spot. Sorensen was third-best in fitness testing results out of national team athletes, which normally would put him on the top sled, but he says being on the Canada-2 sled came neither as a surprise nor a disappointment. “This year it was more of an organic process,” the Glebe Collegiate Institute grad explains. “We wanted guys that had good chemistry and got along well.” For Jean-Nicolas Carrière, it’s a different story. The 28-year-old was not named to any of the Canadian bobsleighs to start the season. That comes as a disappointment to Carrière because he raced on for Canada-3 and Canada-2 throughout last season.

“[There is] a little bit of frustration,” signals the former Toronto Argonauts CFL football player. “You put so much work into trying to make the World Cup. But you have to realize that there are a lot of really good athletes on the team.” Carrière was not pleased with his test results and wonders if he had the right training schedule, given that he posted better marks in training the week before than he did during testing. “On that day my body was flat,” Carrière recalls. “I think the tapering program I was on leading up to that day was maybe too long.” Now, the St. Matthew Catholic High School grad must stay focused and ready in the meantime while waiting for his opportunity to race. “Instead of thinking about the Olympics right away, now I have to think about being a good teammate and supporting the team,” says the second-year national team member. “Hopefully I can earn a spot again on one of the sleds.” Added hype in Olympic season The upcoming bobsleigh World Cup season will be crucial for the Canadian sleds because it decides the seeding heading into the Olympics, and Canada has an opportunity to qualify three sleds for the Games. Canada already has two sleds guaranteed for Sochi 2014, which the odds of a Sorensen Olympic debut excellent, although he’s not taking anything for granted. “Bobsleigh is a fickle sport,” notes the former university sprint hurdler. “There is still a full world cup season beforehand and we’re


By Jamie Shinkewski




Depth, ‘no ego’ style prevail for Gloucester national champs By Josh Bell

They did it with lots of depth, lots of running and no egos. The Gloucester Celtic capped their run of three consecutive Ottawa premiere league titles by winning the Ontario Cup and the Canadian Soccer Association’s Oct. 9-14 Sport Chek National Club Championship for amateur teams. And they almost didn’t enter the provincial tournament. Celtic head coach Matt Williams explains that the team didn’t find the prospect of driving to Toronto every weekend through the summer terribly appealing initially. “We had a vote last year to see if we would enter and we voted no,” Williams recalls. “But we said if we won the premiere league again, then we would have to give it a shot. Then we won and said, ‘OK, this is it.’”

The Gloucester Celtic won Ottawa’s second national club title of alltime in October.

Whether or not they’ll enter the nationals again after their 3-0 win over B.C.’s Surrey United in the championship finals may not even be a decision for them to make.

photo provided

“There’s been a lot of jokes about entering the tournament again, saying, ‘We won it once, see you later,’” details Williams, whose squad also beat challengers from New Brunswick,

Nova Scotia and Manitoba en route to the title. “But I think that would be an insult to the competition. We’ll have to enter it. “The guys enjoyed it too. It was such a different experience playing in those provincial and national games. Most of our guys never played university soccer, so they never experienced anything like that before. Now that they’ve tasted it, they’re going to want to go back.” The Celtic group carries a mix of soccer backgrounds. They acquired a half-dozen players from Carleton University, four claim Ottawa Internationals roots, while half of the squad grew up with the Gloucester Hornets youth programs, which Williams believes is a testament to the Ottawa Gloucester Soccer Club. “Those younger teams are huge,” underlines the Gloucester player-turned-coach. CELTIC continues on p.5

Thunder end 10-year nationals absence By Josh Bell


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Algonquin College head coach Dom Oliveri has never lost at the helm of the Thunder women’s soccer program, but that record will certainly receive its biggest challenge yet when his squad returns to the CCAA national college championships for the first time in a decade Nov. 6-9. “When you go to a national championship it’s always a bit different,” Oliveri acknowledges. “Everyone is already a proven winner. For us, it’s really important that we keep playing the way we’re playing but also that we take a step forward and elevate our game just a bit to a higher level.” Seeded sixth of eight teams, the Thunder won’t be favourites for the knockout tournament in Surrey, B.C. But producing a 7-0-2 regular season and an Ontario championship has already set a precedent which the Thunder will hope to follow for years to come, highlights Oliveri, who inherited a squad that went 8-0-1 last year before finishing fourth at provincials. “It’s a big step forward,” adds the head coach of the Ottawa Fury’s summertime W-League team. “There’s been a very good history of success in the regular season but they just never seemed to be able to take the next step forward. This really helps for the future of the program and what we’re trying to do here at Algonquin, which is to win a national championship.” The Thunder won their first Ontario crown since 2002 on the Oct. 25-26 weekend in

file photo

The Algonquin Thunder women’s soccer team won its first OCAA provincial college crown since 2002 on Oct. 26.

Oakville. Boasting a lineup deep in locally-bred talent – with three-quarters of the roster calling Ottawa home, including nine current or former Gloucester Hornets club players – Algonquin knocked off two big Toronto schools in the provincial championships. Kwanzaa Robest-Prescod got the winning goal in a 1-0 semi-final victory over Humber, and Jaymie Baldree and Ginny Cass scored the first two goals in the 2-1 championship triumph over Seneca. “I think that game kind of epitomized the whole season for us,” says Oliveri, identifying good organization and players who fight for each other as keys to success. “It’s really been a team concept. Every player has a role, and really that’s how we got through the two games – everybody played their part and the

photo: david pelosi

players really embraced what we’re trying to do with the program in such a short amount of time. They deserve a lot of credit.” The Thunder’s Jenna Baldree was named OCAA women’s soccer player of the year, anchoring the defence that allowed only four goals in 12 games, while Algonquin rookie defender Breanna Humpphrey was named the provincial championship tournament MVP. The host Thunder men’s soccer team came within one game of a provincial title, falling 1-0 to Humber in the OCAA final on Oct. 26 at Algonquin – their only loss in a 7-1-3 season. East division leading scorer Abraham Kamara earned player of the year honours, while midfielder/defender Alex Asmis was named rookie of the year and Simon Brown was the OCAA east’s top goalkeeper.



Grand Slam champs keep sights on trials By Dan Plouffe

In October, their streak of finishing as top Canadian team in each event they’ve entered came to an end on local ice, but Team Homan rebounded in a big way by beating a world-class field at the $100,000 Masters of Curling event in Abbotsford, B.C. And by the time Dec. 1 rolls around, all the previous results will thrown out the window as Lisa Weagle, Alison Kreviazuk, Emma Miskew and Rachel Homan of the Ottawa Curling Club shoot for their first Olympic trip at the Roar of the Rings Canadian trials in Winnipeg. “We have certain goals at each event to try to build up,” Kreviazuk explains. “We may focus on communication one weekend, so it’s not all about the outcome. It’s the little things we need to improve on to make that outcome happen later.” For their Oct. 24-27 Challenge Château Cartier de Gatineau World Curling Tour competition, it was an opportunity to have east-coact curler Heather Smith-Dacey join the team for some game action. Smith-Dacey will act as the team’s fifth, on call to step in if needed at any point during a voyage that could end in Sochi. On that weekend, Team Homan was outshone by some other budding local talent, losing in the semi-final to Lisa Farnell’s rink that includes Ottawa natives Erin

Team Homan was third in a World Curling Tour event in Masson-Angers, then won a B.C. Grand Slam.

Men’s and Women’s Basketball Morrissey and Karen Sagle. Farnell won the $15,000 event over the young Ottawa-based rink of skip Katie Morrissey, Erin’s sister, Shannon Harrington, Cassandra de Groot and Kiri Campbell. But Team Homan flexed its muscles in a big way the next weekend, knocking off 2012 world champion Mirjam Ott in the semi-finals and 2013 world champ Eve Muirhead 7-5 in the championship game en route to the title in the first grand slam of the season. “It’s been pretty good so far,” Kreviazuk says of their season. “Hopefully by the end of the next couple weekends, we’ll be building a little more momentum. “It’s difficult to peak in December, so we’re really trying to organize the schedule and get everything

sorted out. We’ve included a lot more practices. We’ve got a really condensed schedule.”

OLYMPIC TRIALS GO DEC. 1-8 Rest and recovery in order to be in peak form for trials is a major emphasis for the team, the Team Homan second underlines. Weagle and Kreviazuk have been off their regular jobs since the start of fall, while Miskew and Homan, already on reduced hours, will join them soon as full-time curlers. Limited travel for events is another component of the plan. There’s one more trip to Saskatoon Nov. 15-18, then comes the big show for Canada’s lone Olympic berth Dec. 1-8. “It’s coming soon,” Kreviazuk smiles. “It’s exciting. I think we’re all kind of getting anxious.”

Women play at 6pm, Men at 7pm Friday Nov. 22 vs. Laurier Saturday Nov. 23 vs. Waterloo Friday

Nov. 29 vs. Ottawa

Men’s and Women’s Hockey Friday Nov. 8 vs. York (Men) 7pm Saturday Nov. 9 vs. Brock (Men) 3pm Sunday Nov. 16 vs. Montreal (Women) 2pm Friday Nov. 22 vs. Guelph (Men) 7pm Saturday Nov. 23 vs. Western (Men) 3pm

Ravens resume romp

Sunday Nov. 24 vs. Concordia (Women) 2pm

CELTIC continued from p.4

The Carleton Ravens men’s basketball team was back to its old tricks, tipping off their new regular season with convincing 95-74 and 117-42 home-court victories over Windsor and Western on Nov. 2 and 3 at the Ravens Nest. And as is usually the case for the man who’s won 9 of the past 11 national championships, coach Dave Smart wasn’t overly impressed. “We have to be better defensively,” Smart said in a Ravens media release, conceding slight

satisfaction in his team’s 75-point victory. “I thought that last night against Windsor, and tonight versus Western we were a little better defensively.” The Ravens women came up with a giant 62-58 win in their opener against Windsor, the defending Canadian champions and #1-ranked team, but then came up empty in a 71-51 loss to Western. The Gee-Gees women had the opposite results, downing Western 71-66 in their opener and falling

photo: dean joncas

88-64 to Windsor. Carleton’s soccer teams both finished fourth at the Nov. 1-3 Ontario University Athletics championships. The Ravens women lost both their matches in penalty kicks – first to Laurier in the semi-final and then to Queen’s in the bronze medal match – while the men lost 2-1 to York and 4-1 to Windsor. The Gee-Gees women were knocked out earlier in the quarter-finals by Queen’s in penalty kicks. —Dan Plouffe

“Of the team that won nationals, there are about six guys who have been with Gloucester for around 20 years – maybe eight with 15 or more,” he adds. “They start playing as a kid and have never left Gloucester.” It’s been quite the rise through the senior ranks for the Celtic as well. The team started in 1999 in Division 6 as a bunch of friends. Not wanting to be unfair, everyone played in the games. The team worked its way up to Div. 1 without ever cutting a player from its roster. If someone leaves, it’s because they aren’t playing soccer anymore or they play for a lower-level team, Williams highlights. Two players remain from the inaugural Celtic team, and throughout the 14 years, the club has carried on the tradition of playing all players, which proved to be

highly valuable come the five-games-infive-days national event. “As we worked our way up, we weren’t quite as strong as everyone but we realized that if we ran our butts off, we could do a lot better, so we kept playing everybody,” Williams recounts. “As we brought guys in, it just never changed. Every single new player had to buy in to our system when they joined. The guys know they’re going to come off, so they’re going to give that extra effort out there because they know they have to come off at some point.” The approach resulted in a “no ego” style, says Ryne Gulliver, a Celtic player of nine years. “Other teams have great quality as well, but they don’t have the depth that we do,” explains Gulliver, who scored twice in the national championship game. “Everyone’s really tight, really close.”



Team Blackburn athlete conquers taekwon-do worlds By Dan Plouffe

Barrhaven’s Kayla Maduk celebrates her ITF taekwon-do world championships double-gold medal performance in Benidorm, Spain.

The moment Kayla Maduk worked towards for so many years came true as the 17-year-old won gold medals in both her individual events at the International Taekwon-do Federation’s world championships Oct. 23-27 in Spain. “I am so excited that every goal that I set out for myself was achieved and more,” Maduk, who won the junior women’s third-degree patterns and 65 kg+ sparring events, says by e-mail from Spain. “I was so hungry for gold in sparring since I won silver at the last world championships in New Zealand. I was happy with my matches since the competition was very tough.” In stark contrast to the environment where she puts in countless hours of unglamorous training with instructor Steven LeGrow at his Blackburn TKD school, Maduk found herself alone under a spotlight on an elevated stage in front of a global audience in her patterns final, which was part of the opening ceremonies. “It was such an intense moment and I loved every minute of it,” describes Maduk, who put her other athletic pursuits – soccer and javelin

– on hold this year to focus on her taekwon-do training. “Winning was the best feeling in the world and getting to have that experience made my whole trip.” The Grade 12 John McCrae Secondary

School student also earned silver for Canada in the team power breaking event. “It was also great to make new friends and be reunited with friends and training partners from around the world that I have met through

SkyHawks take flight with franchise debut By Anil Jhalli

They didn’t get the miracle victory the Ottawa Senators did in their first game back in 1992, but the expansion Ottawa Skyhawks of the National Basketball League of Canada showed promise that they’ll win plenty more games than the inaugural Sens did in a 112105 defeat at the Canadian Tire Centre. “We are an expansion team, these guys haven’t been together too long but we did a lot of good things out there,” SkyHawks coach Kevin Keathley highlights. “I’m proud of these guys for the way they played. They played hard and really gave the fans and the city something to talk about.” The SkyHawks made their debut on Nov. 2 in front

of an energetic and excited crowd of over 2,000 basketball fans. It was the first of 20 regular-season games Ottawa’s new club will play at CTC until February, and came on the same night as Carleton and uOttawa basketball home games. “I’m excited and I’m pumped,” says Gus Takkale, the team’s co-owner and president. “We have been looking forward to this day for a long time.” Takkale was pleased with the turnout at the game and the support received from the fans in attendance. “The people in Ottawa are going to see some good, quality basketball,” notes the Orleans resident. “You can tell the fans were excited.” While Takkale envisions

the team making its mark on the league with its talent on the court, it is also important to help the city off the court by visiting basketball camps, schools and universities, and working with local teams. “The season just started for us, and we are going to grow,” he adds. “We want to be part of the community and share the love of basketball and bring the sport the awareness it deserves. Ottawa is a great city, we have a lot to offer, and we have different options now when it comes to sports. This is an exciting time.”

SKYHAWKS WIN FANS FAST Count Michel Ibrahim, who attended the game with a friend of his, as a supporter the team’s already won over. “I just had a blast,” says

Ibrahim, also a Chicago Bulls fan. “I was impressed with everything today. The crowd, the level of play, everything. Everyone around me was so into it and I can’t wait to come back and see them play again.” Keathley was also impressed with the atmosphere surrounding his new team as they stood tall against the Windsor Express, who also knocked off defending-champion London in their other game this season. “There was a buzz around town, there was a buzz on social media and everyone is talking about it,” Keathley describes. “The support so far has been great and hopefully we gave the people something to be proud of and stand behind. I know we can be as good as anyone in the league.”

photo provided

the past few years,” signals Maduk, who thanked family, friends, community supporters, LeGrow and sponsor McDonald’s Barrhaven for making it all possible. “The trip could not have been any more perfect!” Justin Tubbs and the Ottawa SkyHawks fell 112-105 to the Windsor Express in their first game on Nov. 2.

photo: dean joncas



East-end football shines on at NCAFA championships By Dan Plouffe

The Cumberland Panthers didn’t have to look far for inspiration to summon the courage for a championship effort in the National Capital Amateur Football League peewee division. They had it right next to them in Darnell Robinson, a bit of a Rudy type of character – at 5-feet tall, he may not have looked out of place in one of the earlier mosquito or tyke matches. “Do it for ‘D’ – that’s what they were saying,” Panthers coach Ian Michel says of his diminutive receiver, with a smile. “A lot of guys count him out and think he’s too small to play football. He caught a few balls this season, but it was the fact that he kept working hard and kept his head up – the guys were really happy for him.” Willy-Pierre Dimbongi was a force both rushing and receiving, while quarterback Alex Lawrie was named the championship game MVP, but it was Robinson who was lifted on his teammates’ shoulders in celebration nonetheless. “He’s just an inspiration for us all,” signals Lawrie, a middle school touch football teammate of Robinson’s at St. Peter where the seed of playing tackle football was planted. “It’s like, ‘if he can do it, we can all do it.’” Undefeated Cumberland had little trouble dispatching the Orleans Bengals in the final, busting open a 14-6 game at halftime for a 36-6 victory on Nov. 3 at Carleton University. “That was our best team effort all season,” notes Lawrie, who was an Ontario Varsity Football League allstar receiver before switching to QB last year for the NCAFA Panthers. “That was a great performance. I couldn’t have asked for anything better for our team.” Lawrie perhaps had a little extra

president Dennis Prouse. “I really credit our winter training and our ‘Be a Bengal, Not a Bully’ program – getting kids in the dome early in the year, raising a lot of awareness. We’ve been full at all our younger levels this year – that’s the first time in a long time, these last couple years. Now you’re seeing the dividends paying from that (in the championships).” With Cumberland and Orleans’ success, and St. Peter and Sir Wilfrid Laurier leading the way in the high school ranks, the east end is flexing its local muscles in a big way. “It goes part and parcel with a lot of the good coaches we have out here,” says Michel, crediting the summertime OVFL Panthers and the Gridiron Academy’s winter programs for boosting development opportunities. “We have a lot of good guys who have been around football for a long time.” With a 48-7 performance, the bantam Myers Riders beat Nepean, as did photo: dan plouffe the Bengals in a 56-39 midget final, onship game defeat marked a major the Gloucester South Raiders topped turnaround for a squad that went 0-7 the East Ottawa Generals 32-12 in last season. the tyke ‘A’ Cup final, and Jonathan “We’ve been working real hard Agette scored six touchdowns in his these last few years on recruiting and Bengals’ TUM_quarterEMC_Fall_2013col.pdf 1 2013-09-05 12:24 PM 46-38 mosquito victory over building up the club,” says Bengals the Bel-Air Lions.

Diminutive receiver Darnell Robinson was an inspiration to the Cumberland Panthers in their NCAFA peewee ‘A’ Cup championship run.

soft spot in his heart for Robinson because it wasn’t too long ago that he was the little man competing against bigger bodies. Growing up in Nova Scotia, there weren’t enough players to field a younger teams, so at age 8 Lawrie competed against 10- and 11-year-olds.

MINOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE THRIVES A similar scenario certainly wouldn’t unfold in Ottawa, where the 13-game NCAFA championship weekend featured ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Cup contests from tyke (under-11) to midget (under-20). “It’s a lot more competitive here than anywhere else. (NCAFA) is ranked #1 in Canada I know,” adds Lawrie, who moved to Ottawa three years ago. “It’s a very competitive game. I love it. I’m never going to stop

playing football.” That’s music to the ears of NCAFA president Steve Dean, who viewed the “tremendous” championship weekend as a testament to local football’s progress. “A lot of coaches and parents have commented on how the level of play has improved over the years at every level,” he highlights. “We’re happy to see that.” Perhaps no club displays that growth more than the Orleans Bengals, who had the most representatives in ‘A’ Cup championship games with three, followed by Nepean’s two. The Bengals earned midget and mosquito crowns, while Orleans’ peewee champiC

The Myers Riders completed a perfect NCAFA bantam season with a dominant 48-7 victory over Nepean on Nov. 3 at Carleton University.



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Mortimer rises from Olympic exclusion to win Pan Ams By Michael Lapointe

There are peaks and valleys in any athletic career, but there may not be anyone who’s gained an understanding of this better in the past year than Angus Mortimer. From the depths of an eight-month post-Olympic funk to a gold medal atop a mountain in Puerto Rico, it’s been a wild ride for the Rideau Canoe Club paddler this season. At age 22, Mortimer made an unexpected Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games in a K-4 crew where he “jumped into the boat at the last minute.” He was definitely on the rise, but wasn’t able to crack the London 2012 Olympic team is his signature K-1 event. “In our sport, you only get one entry at the Olympics in each event from each country, and from 2006 to 2011 I was second in Canada in the 1,000-metre singles event,” explains Mortimer, who’s always carried the unenviable task of unseating fourtime Olympic medalist Adam van Koeverden in the discipline. “I kept coming second – I did well interna-

Rideau Canoe Club’s Angus Mortimer won Pan Am gold in the K-1 1,000 m.

tionally, I was always in the finals, but could never get to the world championships.” Missing the London 2012 Games was a stinging disappointment for Mortimer, who’d become accustomed to training six days a week at 8 a.m., hitting the weightroom, napping, and getting back on the water in early evening, while mixing in studies at Carleton University. “From the Olympic trials I took seven or eight months off up until this past March since I didn’t make it,”

the 28-year-old recounts. “Everything was great up until 2012, and when I didn’t make the Olympics I honestly didn’t do a thing – didn’t go on the water, didn’t touch a boat until March of this year. “For the first time in my life, I took a big break.” The inspiration to return to the sport came from his older brother, Ian Mortimer, a 15-time Canadian champion who retired from the sport himself in 2012 and moved into a coaching role at the Rideau Canoe Club.

photo: anitza villalobos

“I was in a big rut for a few years there, and then my brother suggested we should go down to the club to start paddling and see how it feels and take it one day at a time,” the Brookfield High School grad recalls. “The next thing I know, he’s writing my training program and then he’s my fulltime coach. It’s something I wouldn’t have predicted two years ago but now it seems like there would be no other way.” It’s proven to be a fruitful partnership. A strong performance at the

Canadian championships in Montreal netted Mortimer a trip to the Oct. 18-20 Pan American canoe-kayak championships in Puerto Rico where he competed in 45-degree heat in a “man-made lake on top of a little mountain,” as he describes it. Mortimer topped the field by around five seconds, completing the 1,000 m in 3 minutes, 43.74 seconds, to earn gold. He promises to use the performance as fuel for his drive towards the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto and the Rio 2016 Olympics. “Now I’m the most motivated I’ve ever been,” Mortimer signals. Fellow Rideau paddler Maddie Schmidt capped a remarkable season with another dominant performance at the Pan Am championships. On the heels of a world junior bronze medal, a five-medal Canada Games and a seven-medal Canadian championships, the 18-year-old Woodroffe High School student easily won the junior women’s 200 m, 500 m and 5,000 m gold medals in Puerto Rico. Rideau’s Drew Hodges and Troy Chown were also members of Team Canada for the Pan Ams.

Ottawa Sport Council seeks community club engagement, offers club excellence workshop By Dan Plouffe The Ottawa Sport Council, a new group dedicated to representing local sport, will be hosting a debut event of sorts on Nov. 23 at Algonquin College. The OSC is sponsoring the registration cost for community clubs to take part in a Club Excellence workshop, a program developed by numerous national sports organizations under the guidance of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. The day-long workshop focuses on program delivery, coaching, people management, governance, financial accountability, marketing, recruitment and revenue generation.

“We thought we could understand how we can help them more when they identify key areas that might (become evident from) the club excellence workshop,” explains OSC executive director Marci Morris. “We want to help clubs, and especially the volunteers within those clubs, to be able to run their clubs more effectively.” The OSC carries a wide-ranging role, but a prime purpose is to unite the local sports community and act as an umbrella organization to represent all groups. “There seems to be no shortage in the ways we can help,” Morris signals, noting feedback and ideas are of high value. “Our biggest challenge right now is we just need to spread the message more.” A major project for the OSC will be to develop a municipal sports strategy for the City of Ottawa, which would include elements such as facility development and usage, making sport accessible to all, partnerships, volunteers and recognition, and sport tourism. Parks and recreation general manager Dan Chenier is chair of the steering committee. A major function of

City councillor Mathieu Fleury (in Canada T-shirt), who’s in the midst of a 52 sports in 52 weeks adventure, is an Ottawa Sport Council board member.

photo provided

the OSC will be to act as the local sports community’s voice at city hall. “As opposed to having a million disparate voices out there, it’s allowing the City to work with one voice that’s presenting a consolidated view,” details Morris, a former executive director for the Ottawa-Carleton Ultimate Association. “One of the things we’re stressing is our role isn’t just to talk, our role is hugely to listen because the listening has to come before the talking.” Another OSC project is to establish a database on their web site of all local sports organizations, as well as related provincial and national associations. “It’ll be a one-stop-shop for sport organiza-

tions,” Morris describes. “Where is it, who do I call, what do they offer?” Boosted by a Trillium Foundation grant to help start up, the non-profit organization is still young, but is now up and running, with an impressive board of directors carrying a wide range of expertise and involvement in sport and business. The group had laid its groundwork and identified its guiding principles. “Everything that we’re doing is striving to create a positive experience in sport,” Morris highlights. “The message is we’re here and we’re starting to roll out our deliverables, and there will be many more over the years to come.” See for more information.


The National Capital Outaouais Ski Team will hold an Auction 4 Alpine fundraising event on Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Ukranian Hall at 1000 Byron Ave. Tommy & Lefebrve’s Kevin Pidgeon will act as guest auctioneer for the 10-item live auction. The event also includes a silent auction. Items up for grabs include numerous getaway trips, ski gear and passes, and event tickets, amongst others. See for more details.


The Merivale Marauders replicated their quarter-final appearance from last year at this year’s OFSAA girls’ field hockey championships Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in Waterloo. The Marauders earned a pair of ties and a victory to move through pool play before falling to the eventual bronze medalists from Oakville in their first elimination match. Merivale completed an undefeated season locally by beating Elmwood, Nepean and Longfields-Davidson Heights (1-0 in the final) in the playoffs to win the national capital title.




Canada earned points in their first two matches at the Oct. 17-Nov. 8 FIFA U17 World Cup in Dubai but lost to Argentina 3-0 in their final group match and did not advance to the knockout stage. Former Ottawa Fury player Nevello Yoseke came on as a substitute late in Canada’s opener, which ended in a 2-2 draw, while Mikaël Cantave, formerly of FC Capital United, appeared late in the loss to Argentina.


Grade 10 Earl of March student Grace Xu won her second national capital high school girls’ tennis championship in as many tries on Oct. 29 at the Ottawa Athletic Club. Champion Ashbury and runner-up Glebe dominated the OFSAA tennis qualification positions, winning three spots apiece at the city finals. The boys’ doubles-champion team of Raphael Lessard/Sasha Stojanovic, mixed doubles champions Jasmine Mussani/Nicolas Tuli and boys’ singles silver medalist Bradley Assaly-Nesrallah earned OFSAA berths for Ashbury. Mixed doubles silver and bronze medalists Jack Meireles/Lindsay Hawkins and Tristan Dearden/Arden McAlpin and boys’ doubles silver medalists Robin Worling/Ryan Kuffner will represent Glebe at springtime OFSAA. Boys’ singles champ Greg Teal of Nepean will also make the trip, as will Colonel By’s girls’ doubles gold medalists Alexandra Laham/Olivia Cao, girls’ doubles silver medalists Emily Kaczmarek/Natalina Huot of St. Pius, and girls’ singles runner-up Anna Patzer from St. Francis-Xavier.


The FC Capital United under-17 girls’ soccer team capped a historic season with a Thanksgiving weekend triumph in the 2013 Quebec-Ontario Cup finals in Vaughan. Cap U scored an undefeated record and an Ontario Youth Soccer League east division title to earn the chance to play against Quebec’s best, Lanaudière Centre, and came away with 2-1 and 1-0 victories. The OYSL U16 boys-champion Ottawa South United Force were well ahead on aggregate following a 4-0 win and 2-1 defeat against Longeuil, but the competition format called for penalty kicks to determine the winner, which Longueil won.


The Rideau Canoe Club’s professional canoe-kayak/dragonboat race course idea has received the largest number of votes out of Ottawa-area sports projects competing for a total of $1 million available through the Aviva Community Fund. Manotick Curling Club, City View Curling Club and Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario projects also garnered significant support. Third round voting goes Nov. 11-25 at


The host Ottawa Swans wound up with a fifth-place finish from the Canadian women’s Aussie Rules football championships on Thanksgiving weekend at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The Swans lost a pair of preliminary-round games to Calgary and Hamilton by 2 points and then beat Montreal 33-7 for fifth. Edmonton won the final.


Alaine Chartrand of the Nepean Skating Club earned career-best scores in both her short (61.99 points) and freeskate (117.6) programs to win the senior women’s event at an Oct. 20 competition in Barrie. The 17-year-old reigning Canadian bronze medalist planned to compete at the Nov. 1-3 Eastern Ontario Sectionals in Napanee. Results were not available as of press time.


Ottawa’s Eric Peters was the top Canadian in his cadet recurve event at the youth world archery championships in mid-October in China, placing 73rd in the qualification round and tied for 57th after eliminations. Peters was also Canada’s best in the Youth Olympic Games qualifying competition, moving through preliminary qualification and winning his first elimination test before bowing out in a tie for 33rd.


Ashbury’s Julia Malone, in a tie for 12th, and Ian Wilson, tied for 18th, posted the top results for national capital schools at the OFSAA girls’ and boys’ golf finals in mid-October. Ashbury was 10th in the boys’ team event.


Ottawa native Alicia Brown was named a Top-8 Academic All-Canadian by Canadian Interversity Sport in October. The University of Toronto sprinter earned a 3.74 grade point average over her final year studying visual culture and communications at U of T’s Mississauga campus. Brown was named the Ontario’s most valuable female performer in track events and was a FISU World University Games silver medalist this season. She’s volunteered with the Erindale Campus African Student Association, Ottawa Food Bank and in the track community.

West Ottawa Soccer Scoop

WOSC appoints former Celtic ace Hannah as new Club Head Coach The West Ottawa Soccer Club is proud to welcome David Hannah, a former professional player and coach of 24 years, as its new Club Head Coach – Male, effective Oct. 15. “We are absolutely delighted to have David on board as part of our leadership team,” says WOSC CEO Bjorn Osieck. “Right from the time he was 16, David has lived and breathed football as a professional and won all major Scottish trophies in his career. It is that passion for the game and the spirit of success that he is going to bring to our Club.” Prior to joining WOSC, Hannah dressed for top senior clubs such as Dundee United FC and Glasgow Celtic FC in his playing days. He began his coaching career with those Scottish Premier League clubs’ youth academy teams, and later went on to hold numerous coaching, player development and technical director positions with high schools, universities and professional clubs in Scotland, as well as in Malta and Iceland. The UEFA ‘A’ License holder is now anticipating a new and exciting challenge. “Working alongside the excellent coaching staff already in place and working with all the soccer players at WOSC will be fantastic,” Hannah signals. “Hard work, good attitude, good team spirit, and providing a fun environment are what football is all about. I look forward to meeting new colleagues and friends on my new venture in West Ottawa.” For Hannah, a main attraction to leave soccer-mad Scotland for Canada and WOSC was that the Club’s is driven by a compelling vision with an infrastructure catering to all community athletes from the grassroots to the high performance levels. “The facilities are superb and are focused on the further development of all players,” explains Hannah, who coached the 2011 Dundee University’s men’s team to the first Scottish BUCS Confederations Cup victory in school history. “Here at home in Scotland, it’s really only at the professional level that these facilities are made available, restricting which players can take part. So for me, WOSC and other top soccer clubs in Canada

are certainly on the right track for the future.” Hannah was chosen amongst over 100 high caliber applicants from all over the world. What really set him apart, in the view of WOSC’s Board of Directors, was seeing him work with the Warriors Under-12 boys, when he was in town as part of the formal interview process. “It was incredible to watch,” recounts WOSC Club President Brian Mason. “His attention to detail, the ability to pick out what needed to be worked on almost instantaneously, address it with these young players in a really positive way that made them feel really great about themselves, and then show them what it is that he wanted. It is those nuances that make all the difference at a high level.”

INSPIRATIONAL COACH FIGURES Having a former professional player to direct and inspire the male players in the Club will provide an exceptional complement to past Canadian women’s national team player and hometown heroine Kristina Kiss as WOSC Club Head Coach – Female. With Osieck’s hiring as CEO in late 2012, the Club’s recently-granted Ontario Player Development League franchise, Adidas and Soccer Express acting as apparel brand supplier partners, WOSC’s OSA Club Excellence Silver Award, and the upcoming appointment of a new Technical Director for Canada’s second-largest soccer club, the big building blocks are now in place for WOSC to further advance its leading program offerings at all levels – from U4 fundamentals up to its flagship teams in the new OPDL. “We feel like we are going down the path of excellence exactly how we had originally envisioned when this Club was formed 3 years ago,” Mason indicates. “We will continue to grow and to get better, and with these leaders, the kids in West Ottawa are certainly going to have some great opportunities to become the best soccer players they can be.”


Up against a poor start position, Ottawa’s Dustin Cook was unable to climb the ladder in his World Cup season debut on Oct. 27 in Austria, placing 64th in the giant slalom. “Not much to say other than that was not good,” Cook said in an Alpine Canada media release. “Didn’t ski at all like I have been in training. No excuses, learn from it and move on.”


The University of Ottawa’s planned dome for its new Lees Ave. field has experienced another delay getting off the ground. Scheduled to open Nov. 15, the project’s completion date has been pushed back to mid-December due to delays from the dome manufacturer, U of O said in a statement. The dome woes began last year when a planned opening never materialized, leaving numerous sports groups without winter field time due to the failed relocation of the Lansdowne Park Coliseum facility.


One of the perks of running your own newspaper is that every once in awhile you can steal a little corner for yourself. That’s the lovely and talented and Mrs. Ottawa Sportspage, Cheryl Plouffe, starting a new activity (besides our recent marriage) as the Capital Wave Water Polo Club welcomed her to give their growing adult recreational program a try in October. A former high school competitive swimmer, Cheryl survived the hour-and-a-half session with flying colours and will return for more on Thursday evenings at Brewer Pool.


Ottawa Lion wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy placed fifth in the Oct. 24 Chicago Marathon, 16th at the Nov. 3 New York Marathon and second at the Oct. 10 Rolling Rampage on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, which was won by South Africa’s Ernst Van Dyk to wrap up his 2013 season.


A little lower in Ottawa content than usual this year, two local players will nonetheless represent Team Canada East at the Nov. 4-10 World Jr. A Hockey Challenge in Yarmouth, N.S. Kanata Stallions forward Derian Plouffe of Nepean and local product Hunter Racine of the Ottawa Jr. Senators will play in the Hockey Canada-organized event. Peter Goulet of the Nepean Raiders will be an assistant coach for the team that placed fourth at the 2012 event.

photo: dan plouffe



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Editor: Dan Plouffe 613-261-5838 The Ottawa Sportspage is printed on the first Tuesday of the month by Ottawa Sports Media, the locally-owned and operated publisher of the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper & Local sports news from high schools, universities, community clubs and elite amateur sport is the name of our game. We’re at The Heartbeat of the Ottawa Sports Community.

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Team of the Month: West Ottawa Warriors 1999 L3 Boys’ Soccer Team

Athlete of the Month: Shona McCulloch

Team Members: Lucien Bacon, Andrew Brannan, Dylan Brown, Joshua Canough, Krishan Dilawri, Michael Farah, Calvin Hall, Cameron Hobbs, James Hobson, Daniel Holland, Max Sport: Cross-Country Running / Soccer Laborde, Braydon Massoud, Brandon Paquet, Raguvarman Raguparan, Marek Rybak, Matteo Club/Team: Ottawa South United Soccer Club Serafini, Christopher Sommers and Bryce Walker. About: The West Ottawa Warriors under-14 boys’ team captured an East Region double this School/Grade: Grade 9 Longfields-Davidson Heights SS season, winning both their East Region Soccer League Level 3 division and the ER Cup. The About: Shona McCulloch capped a remarkable running Warriors were dominant locally, outscoring opponents by a combined 69-9 to earn an un- season with a gold medal in her first appearance at the OFdefeated 11-0-1 record in league play. The Ontario Youth Soccer League-bound squad also SAA cross-country championships on Nov. 2 in Sudbury. beat OSU, Gloucester and Cumberland in Cup play to complete the double. Back in May, the then-13-year-old was the fastest female To nominate Stars of the Month, go to and follow runner under age 20 in the Ottawa Race Weekend 10k, the link on the right-hand bar under the Stars of the Month feature. finishing in 39:39, just hours after competing in an proCourtesy of the Ottawa Sportspage and the YMCA-YWCA of the Na- vincial-level soccer game with her OSU team. The national tional Capital Region, the selected Athlete of the Month will receive a capital XC champ won the Ontario midget girls’ race in free one-week Family Pass to the Y, while each member of the Team of style, edging a competitor to the line as both finished with a 10:24 time for the 3.11 km course. the Month will receive free one-visit passes.

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GGs softball & ultimate ‘do more with less’ The Canadian university ultimate championships were held Oct. 18-20 at Ben Franklin Park. The uOttawa Gee-Gees women’s team went 7-1 and finished fifth.

OSU Force Academy Zone

Former OSU player steps up for Millwall FC, debuts for Czech Republic The first steps in Kris Twardek’s new soccer life have proven highly successful. The long-time OSU Force player moved to London, England in the summer to join Millwall FC’s professional club academy, and then made his international soccer debut for the Czech Republic’s under-17 national team in October. “It’s stressful and it’s hard to be away from home, and I miss my teammates as well, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Twardek says. “The opportunity here is great, and this is what I always wanted.” The Millwall rookie began as a member of the reserve side for his club’s U18 Professional League team and has since received several call-ups. In mid-October, Twardek scored the winning goal as Millwall emerged from a 1-0 deficit for a 2-1 win to record their fifth victory of the season. “In clubs here, it’s non-stop training, and they’re training against the best players,” the talented striker describes. “The environment is unbelievable and you learn so much in such a short period of time.” photo: purazar bhadha,

By Dan Plouffe A pair of University of Ottawa Gee-Gees female club teams scored major victories in September but would have preferred to take them in bigger October matches. For the ultimate squad, that meant an Eastern Canadian championship and a fifth-place finish at nationals, and for the softball crew, it was a mammoth streak-breaker over the perennial queens of the diamond and provincial and national silver medals. The University of Western Ontario Mustangs softball team hadn’t lost in over 100 games before the Gee-Gees handed them their first defeat in five years on Sept. 15. “The last two or three years, we always thought we were right next to them,” highlights coach Scott Searle, whose squad lost to Western by a single run on several occasions, including last year’s extra-innings Ontario final. “We

were really proud to end that streak.” The Gee-Gees were a dominant force against everyone else in Ontario and Canada for their respective Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 11-14 championships, earning undefeated records through round robin and playoff play until fallen to the Mustangs in the final on both occasions. “We had a great year,” signals Searle, noting their 17-3 regular season record was an all-time best. “It was awesome.” Commitment was the name of the game for the Gee-Gees. Five players carried 4+ years experience on the team, while new coach Dan Joly traveled from Montreal three times per week to work with the group. “We’re all quite dedicated,” Searle notes. “It’s really just a culmination of all that hard work.”


The Gee-Gees women’s ultimate team won the The Gee-Gees softball team were provincial late-September and national silver Eastern Canamedalists this year. dian university championships in Kingston – beating the eventual Canadian champions from the University of Toronto – but couldn’t replicate the feat file photo when they

HELPS CZECHS TO EUROPEAN ELITE Although he grew up in Arnprior, Twardek’s fam-


Although he didn’t get to share inTwardek. his squad’s triumphant moment – his OSU mates went on to become Ottawa’s first-ever Ontario Youth Soccer League champions – Twardek still holds many special memories from his time with OSU,

PROUD OF OSU ROOTS Although he didn’t get to share in his squad’s triumphant moment, Twardek still holds many special memories from his time with OSU, which began at the U9 level. “I loved every minute of it,” he recounts. “The teammates, coaching and opportunities are incomparable to other clubs.” Overall, Twardek is loving the experience of playing against top European competition and chasing his dream – which continues to inch closer – of becoming a professional soccer player. “It’s really surreal,” notes Twardek, who curiously never played for Team Ontario, let alone Team Canada, while he plied his trade locally. “I hope that a lot of players from OSU will be in these same situations, and I’m sure there will be.” OSU thoroughly enjoyed watching Twardek’s growth while under the club’s wing, and is now thrilled to see his progress abroad, indicates OSU President Bill Michalopulos. “To get a player from Ottawa – not a well-known soccer environment – to a professional club in England and onto the international stage for a country with a strong history in the game like the Czech Republic, is obviously something we’re really, really proud of,” Michalopulos signals. “Congratulations to Kris on these latest achievements, and the OSU family wishes him more success in the future.”

hosted the university ulily owns Czech roots, which led to his opportunity timate nationals Oct. 18to dress for the Czech Republic’s U17 team for 20 at Ben Franklin Park. European Championship qualifiers. The 16-year-old started in wins over Israel and Toronto won every Liechtenstein to secure Czech Republic’s place in game en route to the the elite round of the 2014 UEFA European Untitle, while uOttawa der-17 Championship, to be held in Malta, and were the only team to came on as a second-half substitute in a loss to lose just once in eight France in the three games of Group 3 qualifying. games, but ended up It’s the latest feat in a remarkable season for only fifth nonetheless. Twardek, who started the year by scoring seven After going 5-0 in pool goals in a five-game finale with his long-time play, the Gee-Gees fell Force U16 team. His OSU mates then went on to make history this season, becoming the first-ever in the quarter-finals to Ontario Youth Soccer League champions from the McGill. Ottawa region. “It was not what we were hoping for,” says Gee-Gees captain Kaylee Sparks, a Sparks signals. “It’s bigger than anyveteran on a team where rookies oc- thing in Canada.” cupy half the ranks. “We’re still showCOMPETITIVE CLUB CHALLENGES ing everyone the ropes.” Carleton beat uOttawa for ninth It’s a similar scenario for both uOtplace in the open competition, which tawa competitive clubs – their training Guelph won. Organized by Ultimate commitments are similar to Gee-Gee Canada along with several Gee-Gees varsity sports teams, but the financial ultimate-related helpers, a combined commitments for participants are far 30 men’s and women’s teams came to larger. Ottawa for the event. The ultimate team attends 6-8 Even though the Canadian cham- tournaments per year, covering their pionships are now in the books, the travel costs, including flights if necesGee-Gees still have bigger events to sary. They practice four times a week come, namely the springtime U.S. uni- for 2-3 hours, and players also go to versity series. the gym and find time to get in extra Last year the Ottawa women throws on their own. moved through their eastern New York “Practice time is not for working division and a regional championship on your throws or fitness,” explains to compete amongst the 20 best U.S. Sparks, whose lone off-season month college finalists in Wisconsin, placing is December before winter practices in 13th. the gym or dome start up. “It’s a pretty “Just to make that tournament big commitment.” in the first place is a huge honour,” The softball ladies train three

times a week and play every weekend during their season, renting community fields as far away as Orleans for home games. They travel far more than any of their Ontario opponents from around Toronto, and receive amongst the least funding from their school, notes Searle, whose team struggled to survive with only 11 players able to commit to the squad this season. “We do more with less,” he adds. “I’m really proud of the athletes for putting it all together and making it work.” uOttawa’s Kiersten Klekner-Alt was third at the Ontario university women’s golf championships, while Carleton’s Samantha Coates and Sheila McKeen also cracked the top-10. Ottawa native Matthew Christie, the Ontario lightweight men’s single rowing champion, was named Ontario university oarsman of the year for Queen’s.


Glebe Gryphons win 4 of Ottawa’s 6 OFSAA XC medals By Anne Duggan

Ottawa athletes came away Nov. 2 OFSAA high school provincial cross-country running championships with respect for the challenging Laurentian University course as well as their competition, but also gained a pile of notoriety, and medals. Thanks to individual golds by Holy Trinity’s Owen Day and Longfields-Davidson Heights’ Shona McCulloch, a silver by Glebe’s Claire Smith, Glebe’s midget girls’ and junior boys’ team silvers and Canterbury’s senior girls’ bronze, the national capital association doubled its medal haul compared to last year’s event. “All the NCSSAA althletes performed very well,” signals Glebe coach Kirk Dillabaugh, whose team repeated as girls’ aggregate champions and placed third in boys’ aggregate. Aside from the two silver, two Glebe teams also placed fourth. In the junior girls’ race, there was a crash off the start where over 30 athletes piled up. Glebe’s Alison Pouw, Kate Millar and Katherine Greene got caught up in the melee and wound up just seven placement points away from the podium in the team standings, along with Erika Rupar and Katherine Marshall, who placed sixth, just ahead of Earl of

March’s Sophie Rodenburg in 10th. Glebe’s senior girls finished just six placement points back of Canterbury’s bronze medalists (Alex McGowan, Erinn Stenman-Fahey, Lia Codrington, Sydney Currier and Kendra Jemensky), led by Smith’s second-place performance. “At some point

I looked around and I realized we’d left the pack behind,” recounts Smith, a Grade 11 student who finished nine seconds back of gold, 18 ahead of bronze and 32 ahead of Brookfield’s Olivia Robertson in fifth. “The course was brutal, with lots of hills, but I liked it because it distracted me from the race.” Glebe’s silver

photos: dan plouffe

medal in the midget girls’ event was “surprising,” says Keili Shepherd, whose ninth-place result led her team of Cassidy Grimes, Kendall Saravanamuttoo, Anna Larkin and Anna Welburn. “Our team was so excited to be here,” Shepherd notes. “We weren’t thinking of winning, so coming in second was a true accomplishment.” McCulloch was involved in the

most dramatic finish of the day. The Grade 9 Longfields athlete went stride for stride with Kylee Raftis and just barely edged the Toronto runner to the line as both were awarded times of 10 minutes, 24 seconds for the 3.11 km course. “It was a hard field with great competition,” McCulloch says. An OFSAA XC silver medal winner as a midget last year, Day ran alongside two competitors for most of the 6 km junior boys’ race before making his move with 1 km left and exploding for a 20-second victory. “He executed his race to perfection,” highlights Dillabaugh. There was a younger Dillabaugh leading the charge for the Glebe junior boys, as the coach’s son, Darion, placed 20th, picking off runners throughout the race along with teammates Teagan Harris, Jake Weston, Andrew Burney and Marcus Uhthoff. “This year, everyone (on the team) had a great race, especially (midget-aged runner) Teagan Harris,” notes Darion. “We all knew where we needed to come in and we were aiming for third.” Gloucester’s Farah Abdulkarim was the other Ottawa runner to crack the top-10, finishing sixth in the senior boys’ event.

OFSAA junior boys’ champion Owen Day.

OFSAA midget girls’ XC gold medalist Shona McCulloch.



The West Ottawa Soccer Club is proud to be one of 18 clubs from across the province to be granted e ntry into the new Ontario Player Development League. The OPDL is Canada’s first standards-based youth high performance soccer league to combine top level competition with strict training demands. WOSC has put together an outstanding program that will see players receive top quality coaching and instruction in all areas of their soccer development. With its professional technical and operations staff, and access to quality facilities, WOSC is uniquely capable of supporting OPDL programs. You can be assured that your OPDL experience with the West Ottawa Warriors will be top-notch.

Ottawa Sportspage  

The November 2013 edition of the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper.

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